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3-Day Urs Of Data Ganj Baksh Commences In Lahore

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The three0day celebrations to mark the 977th annual Urs of Hazrat Ali bin Usman Hajveri, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh, began on Tuesday at his shrine in Lahore.

Provincial Minister for Auqaf and Religious Affairs Saeedul Hasan Shah attended the celebrations of the first day. While addressing on the occassion, he said, “The teachings of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh are a beacon light for Muslims.”

The Urs marks the 977th death anniversary of the revered Sufi saint. The occasion was inaugurated by laying a wreath of flowers at his shrine. Various events and competitions take place on the occasion. A Qirat competition was held on the first day, in which Qaris from across the country participated. The competition was followed by seminars from numerous preachers on topics including  Tasawwuf and spiritualism,  Qirat and Naat competitions,  debate contest and other spiritual gatherings.

Special security provisions have been made by the Punjab government for the occasion. Almost 400 police and security personnel have been deployed, and 12 walkthrough gates and metal detectors installed to ensure peaceful celebrations. The government has also made Social distancing provisions to prevent the spread of the pandemic as devotees from across the country have come to attend.

Hazrat Ali Bin Usman, more commonly known as Data Ganj Baksh, because of his generosity and kindness towards the poor, was born in Ghazni in Afghanistan in 1007. After completing his studies in jurisprudence, he travelled widely across the Ghaznavid empire before eventually settling in Lahore. He is most famous for his work  ‘Kashf ul Mahjoob’ which was the first treatise to the various aspects of orthodox Sufism.

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Data Ganj Baksh was widely famous for his piety and wisdom even during his life. He established a monastery and mosque in Lahore. He is even mentioned by Dara Shukoh, in his book Safina tul Auliya for his numerous karamats. There exists no authentic biography of the saint himself, but references of his work can be found by later Sufi scholars. He died in Lahore in 1077, and a shrine is built in his honour.

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